Inspiring My Children To Read by N.D. Richman

    My first book was inspired by a desire to pass on the love of reading to my children. My son, Michael, and I went on a walk one day, and because he had little interest in reading I asked him what kind of plot he’d enjoy and what type of characters would excite him.  The concept and characters behind Brother, Bullies and Bad Guys were created by a ten year old child, and from there the novel became a family project between myself and my four children – Christopher, Michael, Thomas and Katherine.  They helped me with the plot, the situations, and ideas such as the astrological reference to Gemini.  And, they lent me their names and wee bits of their personalities to complete the characters. Many of the situations within the story came from my childhood (except for the really bad ones), and I’ll leave the reader to guess which ones but I will say that yes, even the bear stemmed from a real incident in my childhood. Brothers, Bullies and Bad Guys would be a dust covered manuscript in my basement if it wasn’t for an editor friend who convinced me it had to be published. …

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Reading Around the World- Where Does Your Country Rate?

  1,600 people in 30 countries were surveyed by the NOP World Culture Score Index to find out how many hours are spent reading. The results are both interesting and significant. It appears that trends bunch in geographic clusters- Asian countries read the most, while Southern Hemisphere countries including South Africa, Australia, and Argentina show similar results. Strangely, industrialized first world countries are at the bottom of the rankings. Better minds than mine will have to interpret these findings as interesting as they are. This same study asked which genres were favored. The most popular genre was fantasy! 32% of the people surveyed said this was the genre they favored, especially among men, followed by the Russian classics, and historical fiction. Not surprisingly, romance was favored by females around the world. Modern prose came in as the least favored. Although India has the highest number of hours read per week, 25% of the country is illiterate. I think we can deduce from this that those who can read, read a lot. In contrast, only about one half of the adults in the USA read books and only about one fifth are regular book buyers.Why does this matter? Here are a couple…

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Reading and Your Brain!

It is well documented that reading is essential for our children to be successful in school and in their future careers. In fact, how well and how often a child reads for pleasure has more effect on their future success in school than any other factor – including their social and economic backgrounds. We spend countless hours and a great deal of money preparing our physical being with make-up, hair, clothes, bathing and doing exercise from a young age. And yet, we find it difficult to put aside a few moments a day to read. The benefits of reading non-fiction are obvious in learning skills and educating ourselves in fields such as history, science, language and on and on. But psychologists now believe that reading fiction can also have enormous benefits to both young and old in helping them understand the human character. Reading fiction increases our ability to build social ties and our empathy toward others. It can actually develop our social brains and make us more adept at camaraderie, collaboration and even love! There is an emotional response that occurs to most readers when they have read a book that successfully describes their exact predicament. A perfect example…

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Teens Are Not Reading!

    "There's been an enormous investment in teaching kids to read in elementary school-Kids are doing better at 9, and at 11. At 13, they're doing no worse, but then there is a catastrophic fall-off. ... If kids are put into this electronic culture without any counterbalancing efforts, they will stop reading."NEA chairman Dana Gioia Let's face it, parents have to take a lot of the blame. No one wants to hear this but far too few parents turn off the TV or computer and pick up a book themselves. It is our job to set the example. Take some time to talk to your kids about a great book and not the latest Lindsey Lohan gossip! Here's a plan- next time your kids say they are bored, and who doesn't here that a hundred times a week?, hand them a book. Next time you are working around the house, give them 2 choices, help or read. Want to bet they will read! I bought my 9 year old granddaughter a Kindle with a pretty pink cover. A lot of our relationship revolves around books- picking books, sitting together on the porch reading, reading interesting or funny passages to…

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How to Read With Your Child

Start Young and Stay With It   At just a few months of age, an infant can look at pictures, listen to your voice, and point to objects on cardboard pages. Guide your child by pointing to the pictures, and say the names of the various objects. By drawing attention to pictures and associating words with both pictures and real-world objects, your child will learn the importance of language. Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child's life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk. Even after children learn to read by themselves, it's still important for you to read aloud together. By reading stories that are on their interest level, but beyond their reading level, you can stretch young readers' understanding and motivate them to improve their skills. It's Part of Life Although the life of a…

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  Reading, and reading well, is the single most important advantage you can give your child. Not only does it provide advantages for better leaning, it develops a child's sense of imagination – one of the most important means of creating a better world for us all. Imagination fuels the minds of inventors and researchers, it expands our horizon in science, medicine, transportation ... well you get it. Create imagination in our children and create a better world. We all know that reading is a good thing, but below are thoughts on just how reading to your child between the ages of two to five can benefit both the child and the parent. 1. A stronger relationship with you. As your child grows older, he'll be on the move—playing, running, and constantly exploring his environment. Snuggling up with a book lets the two of you slow down and recaptures that sweet, cuddly time you enjoyed when he was a baby. Instead of being seen as a chore or a task, reading will become a nurturing activity that will bring the two of you closer together. 2. Academic excellence. One of the primary benefits of reading to toddlers and preschoolers is…

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How important is reading? Just check out these statistics!

 Over the next several postings, we will be opening up a discussion on the importance of reading to and with your children.   The average kindergarten student has seen more than 5,000 hours of television- spending more time in front of the TV than it takes to earn a bachelor's degree! Unfortunately, people are not reading as much as they used to. Less than a third of 13-year-olds were daily readers in 2007, a 14 percent decline from 20 years earlier. For 17-year-olds, the percentage of non-readers doubled over a 20 year period. It is estimated that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems. 60 percent of America's prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems. U.S. adults ranked 12th among 20 high income countries in composite (document, prose, and quantitative) literacy. More than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. Approximately 50 percent of the nation's unemployed youth age 16-21 are functional illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs. Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills…

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Eat, Drink, Read!

    Where do you usually read - in bed, in a favorite chair? Maybe in a backyard swing on a summer day? I spend most of my reading time at night in bed - could be that's why I seem tired all the time! Where do you read? Do you eat while you're reading? I came across this list of Best and Worst foods to eat while you are reading and although there are some good suggestions, they left out two of the best (and easiest): chocolate and potato chips! I have been known to settle down with a good book, a glass of wine (also sadly left off the list) and a bag of chips. I can think of only a few things that can top that. What would you add to the list? Best 1. Bite-sized pasta - You eat this primly, with one hand and a fork, leaving the other hand free for the book. 2. Soup - Most soups are one-hand affairs. 3. Crackers, cookies, and carbs in general - But beware. Not only do they get crumbs in your pages you will also eat too much while reading. 4. Hard pretzels - Bite-sized and…

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